Celtics content at deadline as Cavaliers change on the fly

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Celtics content at deadline as Cavaliers change on the fly

Post by bobheckler on Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:50 am

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/celtics_insider/2018/02/bulpett_celtics_content_at_deadline_as_cavaliers_change_on



Bulpett: Celtics content at deadline as Cavaliers change on the fly



Steve Bulpett Thursday, February 08, 2018





Credit: Christopher Evans (file)
Danny Ainge





As the Celtics and Cavaliers cruised toward Thursday’s 3 p.m. NBA trade deadline, they were essentially two parts of the same duck. The Bostonians were fairly calm above the waves, aware of their surroundings, but steady in their chosen path.

Meanwhile, beneath the water line, the Cavs were paddling like hell. General manager Koby Altman was dealing away most everything that wasn’t nailed down or named LeBron, giving Cleveland an extreme makeover in the way of 13 losses in their last 20 games. Gone are Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Dwyane Wade and their own first-round pick. The incoming include George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood.

The Cavs moved everything they received from the Kyrie Irving trade with the Celtics this past summer except Ante Zizic and the Nets’ first-round pick.

It would be incorrect to say the Celtics did nothing in the run-up to the deadline, in that they were able to officially add Greg Monroe to the roster. The free agent had agreed to sign for the rest of the season after being bought out and waived by Phoenix, but the sides held off on the actual deal until after 3 to maintain flexibility for the C’s on other potential deals.

But as far as trades are concerned, nothing materialized. And the Celts don’t seem disturbed in the least by the lack of a transaction.

“Nothing came close,” said Danny Ainge. “It was pretty quiet.

“We had a lot of conversations leading up to today over the last couple of weeks, but you never know for sure what’s going to happen. We’ve had deals in the past where we hadn’t talked for a month and all of a sudden it came alive an hour before the deadline.

“So you never know and you’re always prepared for something to happen at the deadline,” added the Celtics president of basketball operations, “but we didn’t go into this trade deadline feeling like we had to do something.”

According to league sources, the Celtics were hoping to land scoring help for their bench, but Tyreke Evans wound up staying with Memphis, and Lou Williams was pulled off the market and signed to a three-year contract extension.

“There were some things that we would have been tempted by for the right deals, but the right deals didn’t appear,” said Ainge. “And, by the way, some of those deals that we were trying to get, those deals didn’t happen for any teams that were looking for the similar players.”

In the case of Evans, the Grizzlies were seeking a first-round pick, but the Celtics (and others) weren’t willing to part with one for a player who can be a free agent this summer.

“We had discussions with Memphis today and throughout the last week or two,” Ainge said. “I think there were a handful of teams that had interest and they (the Grizzlies) just didn’t get what they wanted.”

While the Celts could be reasonably comfortable sitting a game ahead of Toronto atop the Eastern Conference at the deadline — and expecting their younger players will get better with more experience between now and the postseason — the Cavaliers were on a salvage mission as they try to make something out of what could be the last season of LeBron James’ second stint in Cleveland.

“They did what they felt was best,” said Ainge. “Time will tell. I paid attention to what they were doing, but it didn’t have any impact on what we were doing. We’re just trying to improve ourselves. I’m aware of how they are, and, sure, it could make them better.”

And just because the trade deadline has passed, the search for deals goes on for NBA teams. In the longer term, the Celtics will be keeping an eye on Gordon Hayward’s rehab to see if he can return to the floor this season, and they, like other clubs, will be watching the waiver wire closely for players who get bought out.

Any player waived by March 1st is eligible for the playoff roster.

“We’ll keep our eyes open for players we think may be able to help us,” said Ainge. “But at the same time, we have a full roster and we like our guys.

“And just because a guy has a big name, we’ve seen year after year after year that the name guys in buyouts don’t always help. As a matter of fact, most of the time they don’t help the teams down the stretch. But I don’t know if this year will be different.

“People are reporting that this year’s buyout market will be bigger and better, and I don’t know the answer to that. We’re certainly keeping an eye open for it.”

But even if nothing transpires, Ainge insists his feathers won’t be ruffled.

“I like our team,” he said. “I’m excited to see our team play in the playoffs. I think we can get better in the next 25 or 30 games.”

And as Brad Stevens and others have acknowledged, the Celtics need to.



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bobheckler

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Re: Celtics content at deadline as Cavaliers change on the fly

Post by wideclyde on Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:25 pm

I also like our team.

Getting or not getting Evans was a toss up. I can live with Ainge's decision not to give up a first round pick for him yesterday.

Monroe looked solid last night as expected even though he does not know plays or rotations yet, and there may be a buyout type addition in the very near future.

Forward towards the playoffs!!

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